Beijing official Kong warns against foreign meddling

HONG KONG — Foreign forces were warned by Beijing’s top official regarding interfere in
the security of the city
The U.S., Britain and their allies have condemned China’s tightening control over Hong
Kong’s freedoms, including the sweeping national security law and electoral reforms that
have all but silenced the once-vibrant opposition in the semi-autonomous territory.
“When it is time, actions must be taken in relation to any external or foreign forces that may
interfere Hong Kong affairs or attempts to use Hong Kong as a pawn,” said Luo Huining,
director of the central government’s liaison office in Hong Kong.
“We will propose strong objections and teach them a lesson,” he said at the opening
ceremony for Hong Kong’s National Security Education Day.
Authorities marked the event with a police college open house, where police personnel
demonstrated the Chinese military’s goose step march, replacing British-style foot drills from
the time Hong Kong was ruled by the U.K. until the 1997 handover to China.
Critics say Beijing’s crackdown — aimed at reining in dissent after months of anti government protests in 2019 — has further eroded freedoms promised to Hong Kong when it
was handed over to China’s rule. Most of the city’s prominent pro-democracy activists and
advocates are currently facing charges, are in jail or have fled abroad.
During his speech, Luo said that everyone in Hong Kong needs to respect the legal
responsibility of upholding national security in the city.
“Anyone who wants to go beyond the bottom line of national security, and people’s
livelihood, the central authorities will never allow such acts,” Luo said.
Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, described the 2019 protests, which sometimes erupted in
violence, as “almost like terrorist activities.” She also called efforts by those advocating for
Hong Kong’s independence and self-determination a huge safety risk.
“If this is not stopped, then national sovereignty, security, development interests will be
affected. So, this is an unprecedented crisis,” she said. “The National Security Law in Hong
Kong immediately restored stability in society.”One of the core demands from protesters in 2019 was for the resignation of Lam, who under
Hong Kong’s political system is not directly elected by voters. Protesters also accused the
police of unnecessary violence during the months of demonstrations.
Lam said Thursday that public officers in Hong Kong have an important responsibility in
safeguarding national security.
In schools, students were encouraged to take part in activities including “national security”
mosaic walls with photos of students’ faces, to teach that people should work collectively to
protect their homeland.
Authorities also encouraged schools to hold flag raising ceremonies and play the national
anthem, and they distributed brochures that stress the importance of national security.
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